Dr. Reed Welker earned his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Idaho and his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. From 1961 to 1963 he was a group leader and section head at Oil Recovery Corp. in Norman, Oklahoma, where he worked on secondary and tertiary methods of oil recovery. From 1965 to 1974 he was a research engineer and associate director of the Flame Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma Research Institute. His research included areas of fundamental fire behavior, ignition of materials, and heat transfer from fires. From 1965 to 1977 he was also project director and vice president of University Engineers, Inc. where he directed research in fire extinguishment and fire control and consulted with industry and government on a variety of fire safety problems.
In 1977 he became president of Applied Technology Corp., a research and consulting company. He provided consulting and research services to numerous companies, including the design of fire protection and safety systems for liquefied natural gas peak shaving plants and import terminals. In addition, he directed research on fire control and extinguishment for hazardous chemicals. In 1983 he joined the University of Arkansas as a professor of Chemical Engineering, where his interests included chemical process safety. He has been active in the work of the SACHE committee since its inception and has worked to help incorporate safety education into the undergraduate curriculum.
Dr. Welker has served on several panels and committees of the National Academy of Sciences and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Fire and Flammability and Consumer Product Flammability. He is a member of several professional societies, including AICHE, and has served on a variety of committees for those groups. He is a registered professional engineer.
Dr. Welker retired in 2002 and is now an Emeritus Professor of the University of Arkansas.